This story was sent to my email by Sherryanne, both she and her husband Roger Christie needs all the light, protection, love and visualizations of their freedom on Oct 8, we can send them. Over the last three years, the Christie family has suffered a horrible injustice, especially living in a state where marijuana is decriminalized…Mahalo for your support, Annette!
A federal judge Wednesday rejected the religious freedom defense raised by Hawaii island cannabis advocate Roger Christie to his marijuana-trafficking charges.
U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi ruled that the prosecution had establish-ed that the practices of The Hawaii Cannabis Ministry, led by Christie, posed a substantial risk that marijuana would be distributed to people who were not members of the ministry and those people would use marijuana for nonreligious purposes.
The judge held that the prosecution showed that the marijuana laws are the “least restrictive means” to halt the distribution of “mass quantities of marijuana to non-adherents” of Christie’s ministry.
Christie and his wife, Sherryanne, raised the defense under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act that seeks to prevent government interference in a person’s free exercise of religion.
A ruling in favor of the Christies would have led to the dismissal of the charges against them.
Kobayashi’s decision clears the way for the Christies’ federal trial scheduled for Oct. 8.
Christie, 63, who has become an icon among marijuana advocates, maintained that cannabis is a sacrament and an integral part of the ministry.
He was arrested in July 2010 and has been held without bail for more than three years awaiting his trial.
Christie, his wife and 12 others were charged with marijuana trafficking related to Christie’s Hilo ministry.
His wife has been free on bond.
Most of the other defendants have pleaded guilty or will be pleading guilty to marijuana charges in the case.
Hawaii’s State-licensed Cannabis minister, Reverend Roger Christie, is a true American hero, who has been standing up honorably for everyone’s religious freedom, for more than ten years! Even if you disagree with the man, or doubt his sincerity, at the very least, in this country, everyone ought to have the right to present their side of any argument before being imprisoned. Roger has been indefinitely, coercively imprisoned without trail, refused bail eight times and denied visitors and barred from being interviewed by the national media, for three years and two months. Judge Kobayashi and the minions of injustice who are violating everyone’s civil liberties by terrorizing Reverend and Mrs. Christie are the real criminals. You can also thank Roger for providing evidence from the National Institute on Drug Abuse that concluded marijuana eradication caused the tsunami of hard drugs plaguing Hawai’i. What about the compelling interest there is in stopping the meth epidemic, by letting people have respectful access to the world’s safest, least harmful, and most ancient religious sacrament? People in Hawai’i will eventually learn the true, essential values to be found in eating raw, non-psychoactive Cannabis. There is nothing more effective than “hemp” for preventing cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and the deadly illnesses caused by nuclear radiation from Fukushima. Increasing solar UV-B radiation that’s poisoning Hawai’i right now. What the hell is the matter with people in Hawaii? Do you not keep track of what’s happening in Japan? Do you WANT to die from radiation? Free Reverend Roger Christie! Start growing Cannabis NOW as though your lives depended on it — before you get sick. Ultimate sacrifice, made by the courageous people who died for your freedoms, are being insulted by Roger’s anti-Constitutional imprisonment. Shame on Judge Kobayashi for recognizing the legitimacy of Roger’s ministry, yet still denying him the right of presenting his religious defense without being gagged & shackled by an unobjective court.
on September 12,2013 | 02:54PM
What a waste. Your tax dollars at work. Marijuana should just be made legal. Shame that so many are addicted to the prison industrial complex.
on September 12,2013 | 06:51AM
It’s all about the money, money, money! The more prisoners you have locked up for what ever reason, the more money that must be spent to incarcerate them, feed and house them, etc………..making marijuana legal, while a logical and reasonable step, does not mean that the State of Hawaii will ever legalize it! Follow the money trails and see who are profiting off of it and expose their activities to the world!
on September 12,2013 | 02:04PM
Roger is not a threat to society and should be freed.
on September 12,2013 | 08:57AM
If Christie can smoke dope as a “Sacrament” to his religion, then the Mormons can engage in polygamy and the Jehovah’s Witnesses won’t have to pay their income taxes.
on September 12,2013 | 06:22PM
Tobacco has caused more problems healthwise than marijuana, likewise alcohol caused many deaths. Some Indians in the southwestern States us some kind plant in their religious ceremonies, so why not. As it is today, some of the parents don’t give doodle-poop about raising kids so why not let this guy go.
on September 12,2013 | 12:00PM
Someone has to be prosecuted, or the Feds won’t have a good day! They spent all that money building a case against Roger Christy and no matter how many different civil liberties or constitutional freedoms they violate in doing so, they plan to persecute and prosecute him, just because they can!
on September 12,2013 | 02:08PM
on September 12,2013 | 01:09PM
Remember the HPD captain arrested for selling meth? He was out of jail in hours, but this poor buzzard has been locked up FOR THREE YEARS without a trial! That’s an abuse of this man’s rights far worse than selling a substance that has no known side effects beyond giggling and dry mouth.
on September 12,2013 | 02:05PM
Yet the federal agencies routinely break state, federal and international law with zero fear of punishment!! Prohibition NEVER works. Put the resources to much better uses and free up so many wasted lives by chasing crimes that matter.
on September 12,2013 | 02:13PM
Surly they didn’t expect anything else did they? Sorry to say but the bradda going up the creek.
on September 12,2013 | 02:18PM
Let it go this is stupid. Focus on real criminals.
on September 12,2013 | 03:38PM
Held without bail for three years….disgusting, what government is this? Where is the land of the free? Everyone from the judge down to the arresting officer should be ashamed.
on September 12,2013 | 05:26PM
There’s no “quashing” that this is a purely political persecution. Beyond shameful, it disgustingly corrupt.
on September 12,2013 | 06:43PM
Happy smoke. Priceless…
on September 12,2013 | 10:12PM
Please check out real information go to our website the-last-marijuana-trial.com or[ liberate Roger Christie] on Facebook, Roger and my daily prayer God that great! please show us the blessing in this situation and Hurry, we’re are safe, we are loved, and all is well.[ find out why Rogers believes there is more blessings then bummers. we also believe in the Hawaiian Hooponopono'o,
on September 12,2013 | 11:23PM
6:33 am - September 12, 2013 — Updated: 6:53 am - September 12, 2013
Religion defense rejected in marijuana case
A federal judge has denied a motion by a Hilo marijuana advocate and his wife to use as their defense against marijuana distribution charges a federal law that allows certain Native American religions the use of the hallucinogens peyote and ayahusca as religious sacraments.
The ruling filed Wednesday by U.S. Circuit Judge Leslie Kobayashi denies a request by Roger and Share Christie to use the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 in their upcoming trial. Their motion was opposed by federal prosecutors.
“The government has demonstrated that defendants’ practices and procedures in distributing marijuana through their ministry constituted a substantial risk of marijuana diversion to persons who were not members of defendants’ ministry, and for such persons to use the marijuana for purposes other than religious practice or belief,” Kobayashi wrote. “… The government has also demonstrated that ‘the least restrictive means to circumvent the diversion of mass quantities of marijuana to non-adherents of [defendants’ ministry] is a blanket rule criminalizing large quantities of marijuana.’”
Kobayashi earlier ruled that the Christies will be able to present a religious defense at trial to the element of intent to distribute marijuana.
Roger Christie’s The Hawaii Cannabis (THC) Ministry in downtown Hilo and Wainaku apartment were raided by the feds and local police on March 10, 2010. According to court documents, authorities confiscated approximately 845 grams of processed marijuana from the apartment, plus $21,494 cash found in a safe in the apartment and in a bank safe deposit box. The money and the apartment face possible federal forfeiture.
The Christies and 12 others were charged with conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute 284 marijuana plants, which carries a mandatory minimum prison term of five years and a maximum of 40 years if they’re convicted.
The others were granted bail, but U.S. Magistrate Kevin Chang ordered Roger Christie held without bail, calling him “a danger to the community.” He has been incarcerated for 3 1/2 years, awaiting a trial scheduled to start on Oct. 8.
Several co-defendants have made plea deals with the prosecution and one, Wesley Sudbury, remains a fugitive.